HC Deb 24 February 1845 vol 77 cc1042-3
Lord Mahon

wished to put a question to his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government, respecting the negotiations which had been carried on for some time between the Government and several Foreign Powers on the subject of International Copyright. His right hon. Friend the late President of the Board of Trade had said last Session, that some differences had arisen amongst the parties between whom the negotiations were pending, but that notwithstanding, there was reason to hope that the negotiations would be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. What he now wished to know from his right hon. Friend was what progress had since been made, and whether he had any objection to lay before the House copies of any correspondence that might have recently passed on the subject?

Sir R. Peel

said, that negotiations had been entered into on the subject with France and Belgium, for the purpose of giving facilities to the book trade in those countries and in this. These negotiations were carried on for some time, but they did not lead to any final or satisfactory result. Negotiations were afterwards entered into with Prussia; and, after a certain time, it was alleged on the part of Prussia that the law of copyright in this country was defective, and ought to be amended. Since that time two Bills had passed Parliament to amend the law of copyright, and diminishing the objections raised by Prussia. The negotiations with Prussia were now renewed, and in the event of their being brought to a satisfactory conclusion, similar negotiations might be entered into with other countries. If the result of the negotiations with Prussia should not be satisfactory, he (Sir R. Peel) would have no objection to lay the correspondence before the House. In a short time he would be able to inform his noble Friend whether the negotiations had been brought to a close.

On the Motion that the Order of the Day for the House to go into a Committee of Ways and Means, be now read,

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